It's true. Beets are my "candy."
Before you stop reading because you think you don't like beets and this just sounds too weird, hear me out.
As a child of the 70's, my mom was really good about provided canned vegetables at dinner, and this was my introduction to many - creamed corn, canned spinach, and yes, canned diced beets.
Like you, these weren't my favorites. As a matter of fact, choking these down made me really hate them - especially these flavorless, wimpy purple cubes. Yuck and double yuck!
Fast forward to 2013. My oldest daughter, Eleanor, constructed a greenhouse in our backyard for her senior project, planted a wide array of vegetables in 6 large planter boxes and raised a variety of vegetables including beets.
Needless to say, she grew some killer organic veggies and a beautiful bumper crop of gorgeous red and chioga beets.
She and I got down to business finding delicious recipes for all of the produce and landed on several that are now standards in the roulette of meal planning here at home.
I am sharing three of our favorites below and I'd love for you to try them all and let me know your thoughts.
Back in September, I shared the A-B-C salad (apple, beet, carrot + a squeeze of lemon juice, and splash of oil), but didn't share the amazing health benefits of beets.
I sincerely hope that this totally and completely impresses you because I believe beets are one of nature's true powerhouse veggies that provide a HUGE bang for your buck (nutritionally speaking, of course). Beets are very affordable - $2.49 for a bunch of organic beets.
Infographic courtesy of www.draxe.com.
This is great and interesting, but what does it mean for you and your body?
For starters, your liver will love you. The pigment in beets specifically, is what supports the detoxification process your liver engages in every single day.
Beets also have a unique combination of antioxidants which are powerful substances that mostly come from the fresh fruits and vegetables we eat, and prohibit (and in some cases even prevent), the oxidation of other molecules in the body. Antioxidants benefit the body by neutralizing and removing the free radicals from the bloodstream. The human body naturally produces free radicals and the antioxidants to counteract their damaging effects. However, in most cases, free radicals far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants so in order to maintain the balance, a continual supply of external sources of antioxidants such as beets is necessary.
Many of the phytonutrients in beets have been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties as well. Beets are currently being studied for their anti-cancer and fiber-related benefits.
I could sing the praises of beets until my voice gives out, but for now, I'm going to share my favorite recipes. Trust me, you won't be able to eat canned beets after you've tried any of these recipes. Share your thoughts here on my webpage.
Beets are my "candy"
- Quote by Eleanor Hicks-Green, 01.28.18
ROOT VEGETABLE HASH
3 peeled beets
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced (fronds reserved for garnish)
1 lb sweet potato (about 1 large), diced
½ red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. rosemary, coarsely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp olive oil
4 large eggs
Heat oven to 425°F. Toss beets with fennel, sweet potato, onion, garlic, rosemary, 1 Tbsp oil, and the salt. Roast on a rimmed baking sheet, 30 min.
Stir vegetables, and roast until soft and caramelized, 15 to 20 min more.
Heat remaining 1/2 tsp oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack eggs into pan, and cook until set, 5 to 7 min.
Divide hash among plates, and top with the fried eggs. Sprinkle with fennel fronds.
BAKED ROSEMARY BEET CHIPS
Prep time 10 mins
3 medium-large beets, rinsed and scrubbed
Olive or avocado oil
Pinch each sea salt + black pepper
2-3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven.
Thinly slice beets with a mandolin (or a sharp knife), getting them as consistently thin as possible. They should curl a little when cut. This will ensure even baking and crispiness.
Divide between two baking sheets and spray or very lightly drizzle with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and the rosemary. Toss to coat. Then arrange in a single layer, making sure the slices aren’t touching.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy and slightly brown. Be sure to watch closely past the 15 minute mark as they can burn quickly.
Remove from oven. Let cool. Serve.
RECIPE #3 if you have a juicer
Liquid Candy - serves 2
Juice the following organic produce
1 inch of ginger